It’s all about the Benjamin’s Baby!
Well for me it is… or maybe it was.
I would never say I am money minded or that my life revolves around the ‘dollar dollar bills’, but I do believe that money gives you freedom, freedom to do what you want, when you want, as you want.
As a pretext I am not one of those people who lives for the brand and I have no idea when Chanel releases it’s latest collection or how much a Hermes costs. Undoubtedly I do appreciate a beautiful watch or a dazzling pair of shoes but I don’t work to buy my next collector handbag. And yes, currently I am rocking a satchel that my mum bought when she was 21.
But as I said money is important to me. Why? Well I love travelling, eating out, experiencing new adventures, buying home goods, or purchasing a new outfit for the next event (despite it not being a designer piece).
So here I am, in India spending my parent’s hard earned money to buy garments and goods for my wedding when all of a sudden I am hit with a reality check.
Without any warning a rickshaw driver changed my life. Now that may sound a tad dramatic but there is no other way to describe it.
He said a few simple sentences that made a profound impact on my way of thinking and how I would continue to live my life.
OK Sew… what did he say?
Translated, he said “I don’t earn a lot of money but when I go to sleep, I sleep well. A lot of other people earn a lot more money than I do but when they go to sleep at night they don’t sleep well due to the stresses they carry from work.”
Ridiculously simple, I know. But for me it was like the lights came on. Here I was working a job that was beyond stressful. Despite working all day and all night it seemed that I was incapable of achieving the success I was in search for. I had stretched myself so thin that it seemed that every project I was working on had a moving goal post. It became increasingly difficult to sleep at night without feeling anxious.
And yet when my fiance came to visit me from overseas I had not an ounce of energy to stay awake past 10pm. I feel terrible writing this but I look back and not once did I give him the quality time he deserved because despite being physically present, mentally I was completely off with the pixies.
So back to this rickshaw drive…
It’s August 2014. It’s close to 40 degrees and I’m sitting in this rickshaw in Delhi contemplating my life, asking the questions and pondering…
- How much money is worth losing sleep over?
- How much money is worth losing time with your loved ones over?
- How important is climbing the corporate ladder, if at the end of the day work is the only thing on your mind?
- What makes me smile when I wake up in the morning?
- When I am older and looking back on my life, how do I want to remember it?
- And the all important question… ‘What truly makes me happy?’
The truth is while I am like most and enjoy the finer things in life, all I really need is a decent home not one with 8 bedrooms. I need a car that is safe & reliable, not a Mercedes. The ability to travel and discover the world, but it doesn’t have to be in first class.
And if my belly is full, I live in a good neighbourhood with a decent roof over my head, drive a car that safely takes me from A to B, and have a comfortable bank balance for a rainy day – what else do I need?
The answer is incredibly simple…all I really need is laughter. And laughter only comes when I am with my family and friends. And if there is one thing I know, it’s that tomorrow is never promised.
Sew I’ve realised while I will always be a hard worker and continually challenge myself in the corporate world, I will never allow myself to have a job that takes away from the moments that make me most happy.
I am however left wondering, how much sleep and quality time are you willing to sacrifice for the sake of money?